Ben Affleck‘s dramatic thriller Argo, based on true events, is up for seven major Academy Awards tonight. (If you haven’t seen the film, there’s still time to watch it online through Instant Video before tonight’s broadcast.) Affleck directed the film (no Best Director nod for this unbelievably), in which he also stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA operative tasked with rescuing six Americans who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Iran who went into hiding at the home of the Canadian Ambassador during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Mendez came up with a cover story for getting into Iran: He posed as a Canadian filmmaker scouting for locations in Iran; the six Americans were to act as members of his film crew. But in order to make his cover story believable, he had to act as though the film was really being made and it had to be a project that would warrant needing locales in Iran. As luck would have it, the perfect script was found for the mission: Lord Of Light, based on the science fiction novel of the same name by Roger Zelazny.
Before the Lord Of Light script became the basis for the Argo movie that Mendez would use as his cover, the rights had been optioned by producer Barry Geller, who wanted to turn it into a movie and then use the sets to create a theme park to be called “Science Fiction Land.” Things didn’t work out the way Geller planned, obviously, but when the project was still in the planning stages, Geller had hired famed artist Jack Kirby, who co-created major comic book characters like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Captain America, and the Hulk, to do concept art. Now, some of that art has made its way online, check some out here below.
Argo is out now on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as the aforementioned Instant Video. I, for one, am rooting for Argo to win tonight for Best Picture!